“Benjamin’s Quilt,” Friend, Feb. 1990, 18
Benjamin pulled his quilt up to his chin as his mom kissed him good night. R-r-r-r-r-i-i-i-p!
“Oh my!” Mom exclaimed, examining the long, jagged tear. The old quilt had been patched and mended, and mended and patched over years of daily use by three different children. “Time for a new quilt,” she announced.
“You know what I need, Mom?” Benjamin grinned. “A quilt with houses and streets on it.”
Mom kissed him again. “I’ll give it some thought,” she said, turning out the light.
The next day, Mom got her fabric box from a shelf in the basement. There were fabric pieces of all kinds and colors. She pulled out a piece of green material and a piece of gray. Then she looked carefully through the smaller pieces, choosing white, blue, tan, red, brown, and some small printed scraps.
Benjamin watched her cut the green fabric into large squares. Then she asked, “Will this gray be OK for streets?” Ben nodded. So she cut the gray into long, narrow strips. Her scissors snip-snipped for an awfully long time as she cut out the other colors too. But finally there were shapes cut for all sorts of buildings with roofs and chimneys and doors and windows. There were even some trees and bushes here and there.
“Will it be done tonight?” Benjamin asked.
“Oh no—not tonight,” Mom chuckled. “It takes a lot of work to make a quilt.”
The next afternoon Mom appliquéd all the houses and buildings onto the green squares. The sewing machine hummed and buzzed. Benjamin watched for a long time. Then Mom stopped to fix dinner.
On the third day, when Benjamin came in from play, the quilt top had been sewn together. Mom spread it out on the floor so that he could look at it.
“That looks like our house!” his sisters agreed, pointing to a white house with brown trim.
The colored squares with the buildings were separated by gray strips. It looked like a tiny town. Everyone admired it.
“Can I use my quilt tonight?” Benjamin asked.
“Not yet. You see, this is just the top. I have to put a piece of fabric on the bottom and fluffy batting in between. Then I have to sew all the layers together.”
Saturday was a busy day, and there was no time for working on the new quilt. But Dad did buy the rest of the materials for it, and he borrowed the quilting frames from Grandma.
Sunday wasn’t a quilting day, either. It sure is hard to wait for a quilt, Benjamin thought.
On Monday Mom put all three layers of the quilt on the frames and started stitching the layers together. Benjamin’s sisters helped a little. When his best friend’s mom heard about the quilt, she came to help too. Benjamin lay on the floor under the quilt and watched the brown stitches slowly outline each building and landscape. The next day Grandma and Aunt Tess came to help finish the outlining.
“Is it done now?” Benjamin asked.
“Not yet.” Mom pulled him close. “See how the outside edge is open. I have to bind the edges so that the batting will stay in and the edges will look nice.”
“Can you do that tonight?”
“I’ll try, but I have to go to a meeting tonight.”
After dinner, Benjamin watched Mom sew strips of green fabric together for the binding. Then she pressed it in half. But that was all that she got done before her Church meeting. As she kissed Benjamin good night, she said, “Tomorrow night you can sleep with your new quilt, I promise.”
Sure enough, when Benjamin went to bed the next night, the quilt was spread out on it. Mom asked, “Was it worth waiting for?”
Benjamin climbed under the quilt and just grinned.